JT - The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be!

News on John Terry's departure from Chelsea at the end of the season has hit hard and still, two weeks since that announcement, I am ...

News on John Terry's departure from Chelsea at the end of the season has hit hard and still, two weeks since that announcement, I am struggling to come to terms with what this means for Chelsea and the supporters.

Many people who have a naive view of JT would have made remarks such as "About time" or "He's passed it" in the days after Arsenal, and there are many people out there that do not like him as a person which clouds their judgement of what he has become as a footballer. For Chelsea supporters like me, we only know him as three words; "Captain, Leader, Legend".

John Terry remains the only graduate that had made the transition from the Academy into the first team squad initially, then to become our first choice centre back and finally our captain. As we watched him grow as a footballer and develop his game learning from the likes of Marcel Desailly, the Chelsea fans developed a bond which remains to this day. JT is one of our own it's as simple as that.
JT, Captain, Leader, Legend. Get original JT shirts here 
Having established himself in the first team, he then became Captain and has led the Blues through the most successful period of our history. As defensive partners came and subsequently left, Terry became such an important part of the spine of a team that saw successes the likes we would have never dreamt of back in the 80's and early 90's.

Cech, Terry,  Lampard and Drogba became the most influential players, natural leaders and all capable of producing moments in games that make the difference between defeat, draw or victory. You look at Chelsea teams and some of names that have played alongside those four through the years and it's an impressive list. Robben, Duff, Hazard, Essien, Makelele, Ballack, Deco, Carvalho, Ashley Cole, Gallas, Anelka. There are many more to mention but the point I am making is that they all fitted into the team around Terry and the three others and all looked up to, respected and admired JT.

If anything, you look back at that decade from 2004/5 - 2014/5 and you almost have to pinch yourselves as Chelsea fans of a certain age because it's a golden era culminating in the Champions League success in 2012. I'd imagine that JT when he leaves will speak of two regrets being Moscow and that penalty miss and missing out on the Champions League final in Munich. You never know, he may get another shot this season...we can live in hope at least!

It's only now, through the torment of the early stages of this season that we realise that we took that era, that decade with those leaders in the team for granted. We had four leaders, five including Ballack when here was here, to lift and inspire everyone else. When the going got tough, each one of them played their role and for the most part, dragged us out of turmoil. It became second nature of them and for supporters knowing that we people that could inspire all over the pitch. What do Chelsea supporters have in our team now? -  One man, John Terry.

To be a successful side you must have a solid defence and natural leaders in the team. Without just one of those to makes a huge difference. I cannot and do not want to imagine our back four without him.

Yes Kurt Zouma is a player who is improving week to week and will become an outstanding centre back for club and country. Gary Cahill (despite his struggles of late) remains an important part of Guus Hiddink and the England plans for Euro 2016 this summer. Both thrive playing next to JT because Terry is an organiser, he reads the game better than most, can spot danger and talk his defensive partner through games. Just look at the Cahill/Zouma partnership for example this season and you will see where both are lacking. They both need a talker and a leader next to them.

Look at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United now. Look at their squads and tell me how many natural leaders they have in their side or people will the same influence and organisational skills as John Terry. You would be hard pushed to find one person in all three sides combined.

Part of Chelsea's problem this season has been a lack of leaders to drag us out of the mess we found ourselves in at the time. This is where I have stated that we almost took the past decade for granted because JT never had to do all this on his own then. Now he finds himself as the only natural leader I can see throughout the squad.

It's not just talking and organising the back four but it's the respect he commands from the players. He isn't afraid of giving people a bollocking on the pitch in front of 44,000 people if Terry feels that you aren't pulling your weight. Remember our double winning season under Carlo Ancelotti and the last game against Wigan?

If you recall, Didier Drogba was going all out to win the golden boot that season and was desperate to score. Chelsea were awarded a first half penalty to which Frank Lampard would take as he had been the main man all season. Drogba tried to argue his case with Lamps, lost the argument and spent the remainder of the first half with a strop on.

What happened, Terry spotted it, made a point of going over to Drogba to give him a talking to and a reminder of what he expects from him and Drogba scored a second half hat-trick. That's typical JT for you though isn't it. We have seen something similar (but on nowhere near the same scale) last weekend at he MK Dons when again we were awarded a penalty. Oscar picked the ball up but knowing that Eden Hazard had not scored all season, Terry took the ball from Oscar and gave it to the Belgian to register his first goal in front of thousands of Chelsea supporters.

I have said this on three previous occasions on the blog and it applies to JT also. It's only when Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and JT hang up their boots and call time on their careers that people will truly understand the impact each of them had on Chelsea and the Premier League.

There is always divided opinion when people ask who you believe to be the greatest Chelsea player of all time. Some say Osgood, Tambling, Zola, Drogba and Frank Lampard each with their own individual argument for the award. Up to this point it's always been Frank Lampard for me for the goals he has scored and the moments he gave us but now I have to change my mind.

A team without a sold base and foundation is nothing. You can create and score all the goals you want from midfield into attack but if you cannot defend or show some sort of defensive organisation you are nothing and will not win anything.

Think of the game he has played, think of the trophies he has won, think of the influence he has had on his team mates, the team, the club and in the game overall and you will understand that there simply can be no other.

John Terry has looked after his body, worked hard when people believed him to be finished and had arguably his best ever season last year as he led Chelsea to his FOURTH Premier League title in addition to the League Cup when he scored in the Final. His dedication to Chelsea and to the game itself is second to none because he loves what he does and he loves Chelsea.

Surely he deserves another season at least with a view to retiring into coaching at the club. He should not be forced to leave and finish elsewhere. If he does that's a disgrace in my view.

Without question, John Terry is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be both at Chelsea and in the Premier League

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